It’s been awhile since I’ve written one of these and probably a lot longer before I do another. I’ve loved writing What Th--? for the past year or so. I’ve really loved putting together my writing columns and conducting the interviews. I had long felt that writers had been handed the short end of the stick, not only in comics, but in most creative enterprises. “Shmucks with Underwoods,” is how writers were described by one movie exec in the Golden Age of Hollywood. And since most websites at the time were interviewing only artists, I felt I wanted to speak only to writers and to discuss the craft of writing.

But something interesting has happened in the past year plus. There’s now a magazine devoted solely to writing comics and animation called Write Now, published by TwoMorrows, those guys who also bring you Roy Thomas’ Alter Ego and other great magazines. More websites are now interviewing writers. And, for the first time in ages, books not written by Alan Moore or Neil Gaiman are selling because of the writer and not necessarily the artist.

To me, comics are about story-telling. And yes, the art is part of it. But because for so long the stories were, by design, juvenile, the writing may not have been considered in the same league as the art. It’s obvious when you’re looking at a great drawing, because you know if you can draw or not, and usually that means you can’t. But writing – well, everyone writes. Sorta.

Anyway, the urgency that prompted me to do this column has somewhat abated. I don’t read enough comics these days to comment on them specifically, and, frankly, I was getting a little tired of having to have something to say each and every week, or even bi-weekly. There are times when there is literally nothing big to talk about. Oh, there’s little things, but to say everything I want to say about them would take little more than a paragraph and not 1500 to 2000 words.

I’m not always comfortable, as others are, to talk about myself, so it was a constant struggle to want to write about how I did Titans or Dracula or even TV animation. Lots of folk, Jason included, want to hear those stories, and I get asked to write about them all the time, but, and I’m sure I’m wrong here, I see writing as a very quiet, solitary experience. You sit behind a computer and you think. Then you write. Then you think. Then you write. It’s totally uninteresting and, frankly, boring to talk about. Oh, the struggle to make a sentence come out right, or come up with a great turn of phrase, is something you wait for and is a joy when you get it, but the process is one of trial and error and not the thing to, umm, write home about.

I’ve discussed the craft, and, intellectually that is the perfect beginning for becoming a writer, but there is obviously a lot more. There needs to be inspiration. There needs to be something you really want to say. And talking about myself is not and has never been something I’ve enjoyed discussing. I’d much rather dissect a story or tell you something I really loved reading or seeing, but not on a weekly schedule.

So, I’ve asked Jason if it would be all right if I simply say goodbye until I actually do have something to say. If it’s worth taking up a whole column, I’ll send it to him and he can publish it here if he wants. I actually do intend to do that, but not under any specific deadline. When the muse strikes, I’ll strike back.

In the meantime, I’ve been having a ball playing with and updating my own website. I’ve added several pages on the Titans. I’ve tinkered with a number of the pages. I also do a 3-5 times a week update on my weblog, Today’s Views – easy to do because most of the items are no more than a paragraph or so and I don’t need to have some “BIG TOPIC” to talk about. So, if you want to see what I’m up to or think on a regular basis, come on over to http://www.marvwolfman.com and click on WEBLOG. And while you’re there, feel free to browse the rest of the website. I think there's a lot of fun things to look at. And, if you have any questions you want answered, I’ll start putting them on my Q&A page.

At any rate, I want to thank Jason for his patience and to everyone out there for all the wonderfully kind words. And, if Jason wants, I will be back from time to time with What Th--? updates. Things are starting to happen that I may want to talk about at length, and this will be the place I do it.

Take care and see you soon.

Marv Wolfman
Feb 13, 2004

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